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What's Up Doc?
Whatupdc
Directed By: Robert McKimson
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: June 17, 1950
Series: Looney Tunes
Story: Warren Foster
Animation: J.C. Melendez
Charles McKimson
Phil DeLara
Wilson Burness
Emery Hawkins
Rod Scribner
Layouts: Cornett Wood
Backgrounds: Richard H. Thomas
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan (uncredited)
Dave Barry (uncredited)
Richard Bickenbach (uncredited)
The Sportsmen Quartet (uncredited)
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Elmer Fudd
Three Chorus Boys
Al Jolson
Jack Benny
Eddie Cantor
Bing Crosby
Director
Preceded By: An Egg Scramble
Succeeded By: All a Bir-r-r-d
Bugs Bunny - What's Up Doc?

Bugs Bunny - What's Up Doc?

What's Up Doc? is a 1949 Looney Tunes short, released in 1950, directed by Robert McKimson.

Plot

Bugs is shown living in a 1930s/1940s Modernist house, while relaxing by his pool, gets a call from the "Disassociated Press," stating that the public demands his life story. Over the phone, Bugs then proceeds to recount his rise to fame.

Bugs relates that, while in the nursery immediately after he was born, he comes to the startling realization that he was "a rabbit in a human world." By the time he begins to walk, he shows an impressive talent for entertainment by successfully playing the "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" by Franz Liszt on his toy piano.

Early in Bugs' career, there is a gag repeated several times, in which there is a sign marquee featuring three of Bugs' Broadway appearances (Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks). Music starts, the curtain rises, and Bugs Bunny and the Chorus Boys walk on stage, singing and dancing, "Oh we're the boys of the chorus/We hope you like our show/We know you're rooting for us/but now we have to go."

Years later, he decides to take an ballet academically and eventually becomes the star pupil. After graduation, Bugs begins to pursue a professional career as a Broadway star, which he eventually threw out the script to Life with Father proclaiming it would never be a hit, but only manages to be a chorus boy in three productions: Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks (a gag that is repeated several times). In all of the shows, he and the chorus sing the same song - "Oh! We're the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rootin' for us. But, now we have to go."

After the performance, he is eventually approached by a producer of an unnamed show. The show's star has become ill, and the producer wants Bugs to take his place. He agrees, but the audience is unimpressed by his performance and he's eventually hooked off stage. Angered at the prospect of resuming work as a chorus boy, Bugs quits show business until he's offered the "right part."

That winter, Bugs confines himself to a bench in Central Park, which he is also with a few other out of work actors, that are caricatures of Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, and Bing Crosby.

Later on at one night, Jolson spots Elmer Fudd, a big vaudeville star, who is seen walking around central park, and tells the others that Elmer is looking for a partner. The four then do their trademark phrases/songs, but Elmer ignores them. When he reaches Bugs, he recognizes him and says, "Why are you hanging around these guys? They'll never amount to anything." He eventually offers him a role as his sidekick in his vaudeville act. Bugs accepts, and the two embark on a nationwide tour.

The act consists of Elmer telling a joke to Bugs and then physically delivering the punchline to him. After several performances, Bugs gets tired of the act, and decides to change the routine. So when Elmer sets up the joke, Bugs delivers the punchline, just as physically as Elmer had, and dances off-stage.

Elmer is infuriated with Bugs and, pointing his rifle at him, making him back the rabbit all the way back onstage, causing Bugs to get scared with Elmer and nervously says, "Eh, what's up, Doc?", to which the audience begins laughing and applauding to the act.

The two eventually get surprised with this, and Bug then suggests Elmer that they may have a new gimmick for the act and says, "Let's do it again." They do, and receive the same positive audience response, making Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd continue the act and later adopt their well-known hunter vs. hare formula, which Bugs wins repeatedly.

Afterwards, fan mail and offers were pouring in, and the two of them attract the attention of Warner Bros. to which Elmer and Bugs pass a screen test in which they perform the title musical number, and the studio signs them on as film stars.

The story eventually reverts to the present day as Bugs looks at his watch and notices that he is late to the set to begin filming for his first role, in a film that was written with him in mind. At the filming, it's revealed that the part is chorus boy yet again, much to Bugs' obvious chagrin.

Availability

Censorship

  • In the sequence where Bugs is in the traveling vaudeville show with Elmer and decides to come up with a new act so he won't be made a fool like he was in the previous scenes, the version that aired on ABC cut a slightly risqué joke between Elmer and Bugs (Elmer: "Hey, pinhead! You know how to make antifweeze?" Bugs: "Yeah. Hide her nightgown!") and the part where Elmer holds a rifle to Bugs' mouth after Bugs upstages him. This was also cut when it aired on The WB.
  • The CBS version left in the "antifreeze" joke, but cut the part after that where Bugs slams a pie in Elmer's face, sprays him with seltzer, and whomps him with a mallet before jumping out of his clown suit and shuffling offstage and the part where Elmer holds a rifle to Bugs's mouth.

Notes

  • This cartoon was produced in 1949 but was released in 1950, in order to celebrate Bugs Bunny's 10th birthday that year.
  • In this short, he recounts his life story to a reporter from "Disassociated Press." Bugs talks about his birth, his rise to fame, the slow years, and when famous Vaudeville performer Elmer Fudd chooses him to be part of his act. Eventually the duo comes upon their classic formula of Hunter vs. Hare.
  • This cartoon was used in Bugs Bunny's Mad World of Television, but only up until Elmer wants Bugs to be his show biz partner.
  • The song "What's Up, Doc?" lyrics are heard for the first time. The song's tune had been first used a few years earlier, usually over the title credits of other Bugs Bunny cartoons. This cartoon appears in Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 1, CD 1. It is followed by several other Bugs cartoons using the instrumental version of the theme in the intro.
  • One year later saw Porky Pig in a picture titled "The Wearing of the Grin", which was one of the titles on the fake marquee.
  • There is a gag that is repeated several times, in which there is a sign marquee featuring three of Bugs' Broadway appearances (Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks). This repetitive gag is similar to one used in Gene Kelly's musical Singin' in the Rain.
  • A gag in this short shows Bugs throwing away many scripts he's considers, one of them being Life with Father, being not so good, as Bugs predicts: "Eh, this will never be a hit!" Although, in reality, the play was actually a big success, with over 3,000 performances and a rather lengthy run (from 1939-1947), making it the longest running non-musical on Broadway so far. Warner Bros. made it into a film of the same year when the play ended.
  • Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Bing Crosby appear, through caricatures, in a park with Bugs, all of them out of work. All four of these stars were often caricatured in Warner Bros. Cartoons, and in fact, Cantor helped write the long-running theme song to the Merrie Melodies series, "Merrily We Roll Along" (which a Cantor impersonator sang in two early cartoons).
  • Bugs' classic catchphrase is shown in this film to have been originally an accident. It came from Bugs after he pied Elmer in the face and bonked him on the head with a mallet during their burlesque, when it was suppose to be the other way around.
  • The young Bugs plays Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" on a piano. He previously made a reference to Liszt in "Rhapsody Rabbit", and would make another one in "My Dream Is Yours".
  • The title cards of 'Buffalo' and 'New York' both contain relevant musical allusions to the Warner Brothers musical film 42nd Street (1933) with tunes from the songs "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "Forty-Second Street" respectively.
  • This is the first Robert McKimson-directed Bugs Bunny cartoon since "Acrobatty Bunny" (1946) to re-use the modern design which McKimson first did for the Bob Clampett unit back in 1943, as opposed to using the "plump Bugs" design which McKimson previously used from "Easter Yeggs" (1947) up untill "Hurdy-Gurdy Hare" (1950).
  • This short plays in PAL audio when shown on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

Gallery

External links

Preceded by
Big House Bunny
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1950
Succeeded by
8 Ball Bunny
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1938 Porky's Hare Hunt
1939 Prest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild Hare
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperThe Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing Hare
1943 Tortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling Hare
1944 Little Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door Cartoon
1945 Herr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare Tonic
1946 Baseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody Rabbit
1947 Rabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick Hare
1948 Gorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies over the Sea
1949 Hare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950 Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of Seville
1951 Hare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top Bunny
1952 Operation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare Lift
1953 Forward March HareUp-Swept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully For BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Captain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy Bunny
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Hyde and HareKnight-Mare HareRoman Legion-Hare
1956 Bugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star Is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is Human
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBedevilled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit Romeo
1958 Hare-less WolfHare-Way to the StarsNow, Hare ThisKnighty Knight BugsPre-Hysterical Hare
1959 Baton BunnyHare-abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960 Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than Hare
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince Violent
1962 Wet HareBill of HareShishkabugs
1963 Devil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000
1964 Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolFright Before Christmas
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 From Hare to Eternity
2004 Hare and Loathing In Las VegasDaffy Duck for President
Elmer Fudd Cartoons
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraConfederate HoneyThe Hardship of Miles StandishA Wild HareGood Night Elmer
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitNutty NewsFresh HareThe Hare-Brained Hypnotist
1943 To Duck or Not to DuckA Corny ConcertoAn Itch in Time
1944 The Old Grey HareThe Stupid CupidStage Door Cartoon
1945 The Unruly HareHare Tonic
1946 Hare RemoverThe Big Snooze
1947 Easter YeggsA Pest in the HouseSlick Hare
1948 What Makes Daffy Duck?Back Alley Op-RoarKit for Cat
1949 Wise QuackersHare DoEach Dawn I Crow
1950 What's Up Doc?Rabbit of Seville
1951 Rabbit Fire
1952 Rabbit Seasoning
1953 Up-Swept HareAnt PastedDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Design for LeavingQuack Shot
1955 Pests for GuestsBeanstalk BunnyHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Heir-Conditioned
1956 Bugs' BonnetsA Star Is BoredYankee Dood ItWideo Wabbit
1957 What's Opera, Doc?Rabbit Romeo
1958 Don't Axe MePre-Hysterical Hare
1959 A Mutt in a Rut
1960 Person to BunnyDog Gone People
1961 What's My Lion?
1962 Crow's Feat
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody
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